Friday, March 24, 2017

Another Motorist Smashes Into A Bicyclist Without Even Receiving A Ticket (And I Know Because I Was The Bicyclist)

Welcome to lovely St. Lucie County, Fla., where a motorist can smash into a bicyclist with complete immunity and not even draw a citation.

I know all about it.

I was that bicyclist.

A 65-year-old motorist by the name of Dennis Brophy from Fort Pierce drove his 2016 Chevy Cruze right into me from behind without a single attempt at driving around me and sent me to the Lawnwood Medical Center ICU for two days -- and the responding officer did not believe that the culpable motorist deserved a ticket, summons or citation.

Brophy says in plain black-and-white in the crash record that he was in the process of inhaling "a breathing treatment" when he drove his car right into the back of my bicycle and me as we both headed south on Old Dixie Highway at 8:03 a.m. on March 7.

Brophy also stated, according to the report, he was "blinded by the light and never saw the bicyclist until he hit him."

And he admitted "he suffered from extreme sleep apnea." (And Brophy also told the deputy that "he has yet to participate in a sleep study or use a C-pap machine," according to the crash report.)

On the report spot listed as "Driver Distracted By," a single word is typed in: "Inattentive."

And driver's condition at time of crash is "fatigue/asleep."

Inhaler. Flash of light. Falling asleep.

Brophy threw every excuse out there.

I guess it worked.

No citation.

The deputy did email me these soothing words, "This will not effect the fact that you were the victim of this crash."

The rear wheel of the Cannondale road bicycle was broken into pieces and the rear of the Specialized Propero helmet was crushed in, the helmet cracked in several places.

I could have been killed or left for being a vegetable without that helmet standing up to the crash when Brophy drove his Chevy into me.

Thankfully -- and I think by nothing less than a miracle -- I left the ICU and am recuperating at home.

My lawyer, J. Steele Olmstead, of Tampa, is handing the case, the hospital bills and the insurance issues.

The force of this collision was met by the love and generosity of my friends and family and strangers in the greater bicycle community who donated a stunning $4,000 in the first 24 hours of internet fund raising so that I will have some money to pay my bills and meet living expenses while this case is sorted out.

My sister Debbie worked with bike friends Joe "Metal Cowboy" Kurmaskie and Bridget "French Cottage" Sweeten to post a You Caring fundraising link on Tuesday evening.

And I get choked up thinking about so many people stepped up and gave money and shared the fundraiser link to help me.

I face a long recovery but with family and friends joining this voyage I hope to one day hop back on the saddle.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Giant 'Thank You' For Your Love And Help

On March 7 shortly after 8 a.m., a motorist slammed into me from behind as I bicycled on Old Dixie Highway in St. Lucie County north of Fort Pierce, FLA and rescue workers transported me to the Lawnwood Medical Center ICU. Thank you first responders, including Deputy David Felix.

I am home recuperating from serious injuries, which is why this bicycle blog has been dark since the motorist crashed his vehicle into me.

Bicycle lawyer J. Steele Olmstead of Tampa is handling my case.

I want to thank three people who put together a You Caring fundraising page to raise money to cope with my living expenses and bills.

My sister Deb worked with close bicycling friends Joe "Metal Cowboy" Kurmaskie and Bridget "French Cottage" Sweeten to launch the You Caring page.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for those who donated and sent cards and well wishes.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Dear Mr. President, Let's Ride Bicycles When You're In Florida (So That You Keep Off The Twitter)

Dear Mr. President,

It's so cool that you enjoy Florida!

You're back in South Florida today -- and I live here too.

Today is such a sweet March day here in the Sunshine State for both of us. Strong tropical breezes off the Atlantic Ocean, yet the humidity is still low so that we're not sweating our balls off!

Yet, for some reason, when you come to Florida you seem kinda, well, stressed out and those fingers of yours go running across your cell phone and out pops another tweet that really grabs America by the . . . hmmmm, I'm not sure I better finish that sentence.

Well, anyway, you were back in Florida and back on the Twitter and out jumped this twittery gem.

Alan SnelTweet text

Man, that's quite the doozy!

You're one intense dude.

So intense, that you threw in an extra "p" into "tapp."

Talk about ppassion!

So, here's the deal. Even your closest pals think you're overdoing it a bit with this Twitter thing.


So, I have an idea.

Let's go bicycling instead of you twittering when you come to Florida.

Didn't you hear? Bicycling is the new golf!

I get stressed out, too, sometimes -- just like you.

But instead of tweeting I go biking.

I love bicycles.

You love bicycles. Well, maybe once you did, when you put on the Tour de Trump bike race back in the late 1980s.

You had the golden touch even back then. This protest stuff is not new. Check out some of these folks way back in 1989 at your bike race.

Anyway, I'm happy to take you out on a bicycle ride.

I have a bicycle for you. Or, I have lots of friends who would be happy to loan their bikes to you, too.

That's the beautiful thing about bicyclists -- we come in all shapes and sizes and political backgrounds, so we'll definitely come up with a bike for you to pedal.

Just one condition.

No tweeting and biking. (And no Putin either).


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Wanted: Clark County Commission With A Backbone

The prospect of 5,000 new homes being built in Red Rock Canyon means the Clark County Commission must stand up for the tens of thousands of people who have signed a petition against this obscene and outrageous project that would scar the Red Rock experience forever.

Red Rock Canyon runs deep inside me, so I wrote this column for The Nevada Independent about the Commission's failure to stand for the people.

Just yesterday, The Indy's Jackie Valley wrote this story outlining the issues about this outrageous project.

Keep the pressure on.

Friday, February 24, 2017

An Obscene Development For Red Rock Canyon Endures Because Clark County Commissioners Just Won't Say No

First, frustration -- and some confusion on Wednesday.

Now, I'm feeling anger today about the way the county is dealing with the fate of Las Vegas's natural treasure -- the Red Rock Canyon corridor that includes a massive home proposal of more than 5,000 homes near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

This morning, I just listened to Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak talk on KNPR and explain the commissioners voted (5-2) two days ago to allow a developer to withdraw a plan to build 5,025 homes on 2,000 acres at a mining site on Blue Diamond Hill in Red Rock Canyon.

It was with the understanding that the 2011 plan for this project was still alive, Sisolak said.

And besides, Sisolak told radio listeners, if the commission rejected the application by controversial developer Jim Rhodes and Gypsum Resources, he COULD sue the county or even worse, a judge COULD rule that Rhodes can build six homes per acre -- or 12,000 homes.

After all, Sisolak said, Rhodes can build 1,100 homes at the site under the current zoning.

Welcome to the way public policy is shaped in Clark County.

Through fear that a developer COULD do this or a judge COULD do that.

This is absolute bullshit.

A county's governing board is making decisions based on hypotheticals and fear of litigation?

Here's the deal: The application before the county commissioners -- assuming the 2011 plan is still in effect (there's debate and confusion about that too) -- is for 5,025 homes on 2,000 acres.

So, vote on that by stamping, "reject," on it. It's a laughable proposal.

Don't vote on speculating whether you think Gypsum Resources' lawyer might do this or a judge might do that.

The fact is every decision you make as a seven-member county commission can draw a lawsuit.

But you're entrusted with the responsibility of standing up for the best interests of the county -- not worrying about whether an applicant is pissed off by your decision and might sue.

Here's what makes my blood boil. Sisolak admits he would not like a single home built on that mining site but that Rhodes has a right to build some 1,100 homes there.

But that's not what is before the county.

A 2011 proposal for more than 5,000 homes is apparently still alive before the county and if you think a project of that scope is way out of line for one of the most valuable natural resources in the western United States, then vote that way.

Stand up for nearly 50,000 people who have signed a petition against this obscene development proposal and for the more than 100 people who attended a seven-hour hearing to explain in every which way why this project would scar and damage our natural treasure in Las Vegas.

Reject this 2011 concept and say, Hell no to 5,000 homes in Red Rock Canyon. Now now. Not ever.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Clark County Commission Fail: Members Failed To Explain Why They Allowed 5,025-home Project In Red Rock Canyon To Move Along

I sure would have liked to have known what the hell was on the minds of the county commissioners who voted for this project.

Because, you know, all they do is represent the people of Clark County, Nev.

It's hard to fathom that after 120 speakers came before them during seven hours of testimony, there were hardly any comments by most of the seven county commissioners about the merits and faults of the actual project that would change beloved Red Rock Canyon forever.

5,025 homes on 2,000 acres atop a hill in Red Rock Canyon.

That's developer Jim Rhodes' plan for the mining company Gypsum Resources' land at Blue Diamond Hill in a canyon controlled mostly by the feds, the Bureau of Land Management.

The county commissioners moved along the project by voting to support that the 2011 proposal was still in affect instead of simply rejecting this application. At the meeting, the commissioners voted to accept the developer withdrawing the 2016 proposal and keeping the 2011 plan in play.

This is a laughable and obscene proposal -- a project calling for more than four times the number of homes allowed under current zoning that permits 1,100. The scope of the proposal is so beyond any reasonable measuring stick that the county commissioners should simply stamp, "reject," on this application. It's a no-brainer, folks.

But after the public comments, there was hardly any debate among the commissioners. Hardly any discussion. The whole deal looked like it was choreographed in light of little public comments by the county commissioners.

5,025 homes. 15,000 residents. Stunning numbers. This is the very definition of sprawl.

And those numbers would translate into profound impacts on one of the sacred natural jewels of not only the Las Vegas area but the entire West.

It was a long day of comments from impassioned opponents from Save Red Rock, and also from a few of Rhodes' employees who spoke in favor of the project.

But as I watched on the live stream 2,400 miles away, I was struck by the fact that after the public comments ended hardly any of the county commissioners addressed the actual comments by the speakers who waited patiently on a long line to offer their three minutes of testimony. I have reported on literally hundreds of government meetings across the country and typically elected officials will offer up some type of public schpiel to explain their vote. But not Wednesday at the Clark County Commission chambers.

In the end after seven hours of comments, the commissioners voted, 5-2, to move the project from 2011 ahead.

Know who pushed along this plan -- Steve Sisolak, Mary Beth Scow, Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Larry Brown and Susan Brager.

Commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Lawrence Weekly voted against.

The project will change this canyon. Red Rock is no place for the lights, traffic and visual intrusion.

Red Rock Canyon was one of Las Vegas's signature identity markers and the Metro Valley region is already marred by sprawl spilling out in every direction.

Listen to the voices about why this decision will hurt so many.

I'm sorry to say that the commissioners voted 5-2 to push through Rhodes' 2011 concept plan. That's not the vote that was on the agenda, that's not why we spent 8 hours at the county building today testifying on the 2016 concept plan. What happened is that five of our elected officials who signed up for the job of making tough choices and to be the voice of the people opted to take the easy way out.
So the 2011 concept plan is a go.
This is Nevada lawmakers voting against the environment and the people. 

*     *     *
How we all feel as beautiful Red Rock falls to GREED and IDIOCY as set forth by our politicians who ignored our outcries.


*     *     *

Beyond disappointed that my county commissioner Susan Brager voted with developers, against preserving Red Rock. Expected more from you.

*     *     *

5-2 Clark County Commissioner dirt bags voted to uphold Rhodes' 2011 development concept plan to build on Blue Diamond Hill. It took me a while to gather myself after the decision and although I can go on and on about why this proposal makes ZERO SENSE, I will instead choose to acknowledge the LOVE today. So many people, young and old, offered their stories, dreams, and support of Red Rock as a local RURAL gem. I am in awe and admiration for the support and strong opposition by my friends in the community. This is one of many future battles and I will see them to that challenge. We will win. Red Rock will win. ❤️✌️❤️

*     *     *

Mark Antonuccio It will hurt us more than them. Red Rock is a public treasure.. We need to protect it for generations to come, and frankly I need it for my sanity. It is the one place in this town you can go to find a unique beauty and peace. It is absurd to say that the development will not diminish Red Rock. 5000 homes and as many if not more cars, plus the light pollution. The low density housing was bad enough, but the expansion to 5000 homes is a travesty. I wonder why the County Commission approved this. Is nothing sacred? Answer: no.
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